Airports

Elves at airports

hmshost-elves-ohare-photo-1
Airports around the country are ready for the holiday travel season with decorations, entertainment and special events of all kinds – including an invasion of gift-bearing elves.

Beginning Thursday, December 1 at Chicago’s O’Hare airport and running through December 8, the HMSHost Holiday Elves and their “magical sleigh” will be popping up at major U.S. airports handing out electronics, fun gag gifts, holiday collectibles and travel accessories to select lucky travelers and passersby who play the elves’ naughty-or-nice game.

Look for the elves on December 6 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (I’ll be there!) and Orlando International Airport on December 8.

Not planning on being at those airports on those days? You can still can win prizes (in airports or not ) by posting creative holiday travel photos.

 

 

Airports take the Mannequin Challenge – & rock it!

mannequin-library-of-congress

(Courtesy Library of Congress – via Flickr Commons)

The Mannequin Challenge is – for some reason – sweeping the nation.

I don’t quite get it, but the short videos are oddly entertaining to watch. And the fad seems harmless.

Here’s how a few airports accepted the #AirportThrowdown Mannequin Challenge.

More – I’m sure – to come.

Let me know which ones I’ve missed and I’ll add them here.

 

 

 

 

The moving walkway is now ending…

love-field-1st-moving-walkway-in-an-airport

(Photo courtesy: Courtesy Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas, Texas)

Work in progress…

For my At the Airport column on USA TODAY I’ve been researching moving walkways at airports.

Geeky topic, yes, but there’s technology, drama, technology death and whimsy involved in the development of these helpful airport amenities.

The column should post next week, but I wanted to share the photo above, which is from Dallas Love Field in 1958, when the first moving walkway in an airport was installed.

Searching for Pokemons at the airport

OTG POkemon lures

Food vendors inside airports are getting into the PokemonGo craze.

OTG – which operates restaurants and in gate lounges at multiple airports, including DCA, MSP, PHL, LGA and IAH, is helping passengers find nearby Pokestops and gyms with “lures” they’ve installed in their spaces.

Not to be outdone, HMSHost, which operates restaurants and food outlets in dozens of airports, is dropping Pokemeon lures in many of its airport (and motorway) locations as well..

In 50 markets across the country, HMSHost locations are also creating game-related promotions with refresh and recharge stations for players and other game tactics.

Heading to the airport? Hold onto that rental car.

Courtesy State Library of New South Wales , via Flickr Commons.

Courtesy State Library of New South Wales , via Flickr Commons.


Disclosure: National Car Rental sponsored this project.

You finished your meetings, filed that report and now there’s not much else to do but take another pass at the breakfast buffet, check out of your hotel and head to the airport to hang out before your flight.

But don’t return that rental car just yet.

If you plan it right and do a little homework, you can squeeze in a leisure adventure on the way to the airport.

Here’s are some great attractions nearby 5 major airports:

San Francisco International Airport: Burlingame sits on San Francisco Bay, and is home to the Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia. Nearby is the Coyote Point Recreation Area, which offers a beach promenade, marina and great viewing spots for watching planes take off and land.

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is just seven miles from the sprawling Museum of Flight, with more than 160 air and spacecraft, flight simulators and a brand new, 3-acre Aviation Pavilion that features many of the large commercial aircraft in the collection.

New York’s LaGuardia Airport is less than 2 miles from the Louis Armstrong House and Museum in Corona. The world famous jazz musician and his wife, Lucille, lived in a modest house in Queens and guided tours of the home are offered every hour.

Los Angeles International Airport – The Flight Path Learning Center and Museum is on the south side of the airport in the LAX Imperial Terminal and features airplane models, uniforms, photographs and a wide variety of historic artifacts relating to the aviation industry and the history of Southern California. In-N-Out Burger, a favorite among plane spotters, has a branch in nearby Westchester, less than 2 miles away.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport: Founders’ Plaza, on airport property (but almost two miles from the terminal), has an observation area offering great views of airplanes landing and taking off, telescopes, picnic tables and a radio broadcasting air traffic control communications. Historic downtown Grapevine, with wine tasting rooms, public art, shops, restaurants and an entertaining glockenspiel clock tower, is just 7 miles away.

The easiest and most time-efficient way to reach most of these near-the-airport locations is by car. A good option: National Car Rental, where some of the time-saving benefits offered to Emerald Club members make it easy to squeeze in leisure time on a business trip.

At these busy airports and many others, Emerald Club members get to bypass the lines at the check-in counter, pick out any midsize (or above) car from the Emerald Aisle and, when they return to the airport, skip the paperwork and get an email receipt after dropping off the car.

I’ve got a work trip planned to Denver and I’m planning now to squeeze in a drive out to Golden to see the Buffalo Bill Memorial Museum and grave before heading back to Denver International Airport, returning my rental car and heading home.

National_Emerald Aisle_image

Don’t give that rental car back just yet. Take a fun side trip before heading back to the airport.